By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Cinnamon Lakeside hosted the fourth edition of their Thai Food Festival in partnership with the Royal Thai Embassy. The event is held at Royal Thai, overlooking the pool and Beira Lake, on 19-28 September from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
The opening event took place in the presence of Thai Ambassador to Sri Lanka Chulamanee Chartsuwan. The Ambassador stated: “The participation of the Royal Thai Embassy in this festival reflects our commitments to stand by our Sri Lankan friends and our confidence in this beautiful country.”
The event’s star attraction is the extensive buffet which features over 90 dishes – authentic Thai cuisine from Cinnamon Lakeside’s Thai Master Chef Bangkot Sabpong. His team presented 20 live action stations, proving the guests with an impossibly diverse array of options to choose from.
The event was complete with Thai traditional décor, music, dance performances, and colourful crafts created at the venue live, courtesy of traditional Thai craftsmen, all adding to the authenticity of the guest experience.
However, despite the delightful food, the mind-boggling number of options is rather exhausting. But that is a first-world problem if there ever was one; regardless, it would be helpful to have more guidance when navigating the food stations, all of which are foreign and unfamiliar territory for the guests, and being blasted with many such options can be overwhelming. It would be helpful if guests did not have to make multiple strolls along the isles to figure out which was where.
Owing to the success of the past three years, the Thai Food Festival showcases an undoubtedly extensive spread with the more popular signature dishes from the Royal Thai menu, along with a host of new additions, paying tribute to Thailand’s rich culinary heritage for just Rs. 2,950 (nett) per person.
With the buffet-style setup, there were multiple items to choose from, including salads, appetisers, soups, and mains, along with the almost unbelievable number of action stations including a seafood and grill corner, lagoon crab section, kebab and satay stations, and stations for hot dishes and desserts.
Thai staples such as pad Thai noodles, spicy Thai fried rice with seafood, peanuts and kaffir lime, five-spice Thai marinated BBQ pork ribs, crispy fried pork belly with Thai tamarind sauce, five-spice lemon honey roast chicken, assorted mushrooms with oyster ginger sauce, red curry chicken with coconut, and wok fried cuttlefish with chilli tamarind, just to name a few of the range of assorted dishes available at the festival.
The food was as expected – delicious! Thai food happens to be a favourite among many Sri Lankans, which is no surprise considering the flavourful nature of the items and how unafraid Thai cuisine is of spices, especially chilli.
The buffet also featured a number of traditional Thai styled desserts – mango sticky rice, coconut and lychee ice cream, mung bean tart, coconut jelly with stewed fruit, and a number of cake and pudding options. Hats off to the coconut ice cream which was truly fantastic.
Royal Thai is the only “Thai Select” restaurant in a five-star hotel in the island, which is a certification awarded by the Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand which certifies bona fide Thai cuisine and also hospitality and ambiance which reflects true Thai values.
Photos Saman Abesiriwardana